Hope you are well after the bad weather we had recently. Now that spring is in the air, we are all looking forward to a nice change with the season.

As the seasons change, it reminds me of the financial changes in people’s lives such as Domiciliary Care to Disability Allowance. A question I am regularly asked from the families I work with is:

What happens to Domiciliary Care Allowance?

Domiciliary Care Allowance will automatically stop when your child turns 16. Children with special needs can then apply for Disability Allowance. To qualify your child must have a permanent physical or intellectual disability that substantially restricted them in undertaking work that would otherwise be suitable for a person of their age.

Parent often assume that their child has to finish school before they apply but this is not the case.

To avoid delays in receiving your payment, I recommend you complete the application form and send it in to the Department of Social Protection at least 3-months before your child’s 16th birthday.

If your child’s application is approved then they will receive €188 per week from age 16 and this will stop at age 66. This is €9,776 per year or when you do the maths this works out as €488,800 from age 16-66.

Important

Disability Allowance is a means-tested payment on your child not on the parents. Any money your child has in their bank accounts, shares, savings or property (other than their family home) will be assessed. If your child inherits money in the future then this too will have an impact on their Disability Allowance.

This is why a Special Needs Trust is so important.

Employment

If your child takes up a full time or part time work then expect your child’s Disability Allowance to STOP. Your child has proven that they can work and your child will find it incredibly difficult to receive this payment again.

An exception to this rule is if the employment is classified as “rehabilitative work”.  You must get permission from the Department of Social Protection before you start this type of work. Your child can earn up to around €120 per week without affecting their Disability Allowance. There is a sliding scale of earning but all earnings over €350 are fully assessed when on “rehabilitative work”.

It is a crazy world we live in when savings and income from work are discourage. The Department of Social Protection is very black and white on this issue. You either meet the criteria or you don’t, and if you don’t then expect your child only to receive a proportion of the €488,800 they were going to receive.

Warning

Rehabilitative work might not impact on your child’s Disability Allowance but it may affect other entitlements such as medical card.

One last comment

The government in a previous budget tried to change the rules and regulation around young adult receiving Disability Allowance. In a nutshell they wanted to substantially reduce the amount a person from age 16-24 would receive.

Thankfully this is one cut in the disability sector that didn’t get approved but I will keep you posted if any changes occur.

Fund Your Special Child’s Trust From Entitlements Today – For A Brighter Tomorrow

This article was prepared by Allan Cuthbert, a Special Needs Trust Planner. If you would like to discuss your child’s Special Needs Trust in private, feel free to email allan@financialwellbeing.ie or call 021 482 3635.